The future of cars is not with gasoline, or at least that is one line of thinking on the subject. And it makes sense. Oil reserves aren’t limitless, and we have no way to replenish them, so alternative methods of fuel for our millions of vehicles are all the rage when it comes to new technologies to keep us on the road. Electricity isn’t a new thing, by any means. Still, its popularity within the automotive industry is at an all-time high as just about every single manufacturer out there is trying to release an electric vehicle, whether it be sedans, trucks, or SUVs. So it is no surprise that your local BMW Dealership already offers some electric options, most notably the BMW i3 and i8 models, with the i3 acting as the fully-electric option and the i8 as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that appeals more to the sports-car-oriented consumer. Still, there’s more to come with the BMW i4 all-electric sedan release date on the horizon, which is sure to please BMW enthusiasts worldwide.
An Electric History
While the BMW i3 and i8 models are relatively new, having been released in 2013 and 2014, respectively, BMW still has a rather lengthy history with making and testing electric vehicles. As mentioned above, the idea of using electricity to power a vehicle isn’t a new concept in the slightest, with the first electric vehicle presumed to have been developed even before the year 1900. Now, over 120 years later, electric cars have become an extremely commonplace option for consumers out there that are looking into buying a new or used vehicle. And manufacturers have caught on. Fortunately, companies like BMW are already familiar with pairing electricity and automobiles together. And while their modern releases of electric cars are quite recent, at least they’re moving in the right direction.
In 2012, BMW celebrated the 40-year anniversary of its first electric vehicle, which was debuted at the Munich Olympics of 1972. The first electric vehicles that BMW produced in the 1970s didn’t have much of a range, but as the process became refined, we were able to see vehicles that went from ranges of 19 to 37 miles on one charge to upwards of 93 miles in the 1980s, 150 miles in the 1990s, and now we expect the upcoming BMW i4 to exceed 300 miles on a full charge. Of course, there are many more achievements BMW has made with their electric cars, but the range is one of the easiest to look at and see obvious improvements over the years.
What Kind of Specs Are We Talking for 2021?
Let’s get down to what we can expect to see from the BMW i4 when it makes its debut later this year. According to BMW, you can expect the i4 to have a range of 373 miles when using an 80kWh battery. At the moment, that would put the i4 just about on par with the Tesla Model S Long Range electric vehicle, which has a 375-mile range. Overall, it is an incredible amount of miles that blows away a lot of the competition. And to directly compete with Tesla, which has fast become the go-to brand for premier electric vehicles, is saying something. Do keep in mind that these ranges released by companies are based on the WLTP or Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure. These WLTP ratings are based on testing procedures, so they may not reflect entirely accurate data due to the different driving methods of every driver out there. However, they can give you an idea of how many miles to expect out of a vehicle. You can most likely expect EPA ratings to be a little bit lower than WLTP ratings.
You can also expect a maximum output of nearly 530 hp from the electric motor that’s equipped on the BMW i4. This relays to a 0-60 speed of about four seconds flat, although it may actually be faster than that. And, if there are different variations of the i4, such as options for either rear- or all-wheel drive, then you can expect the acceleration numbers to vary a bit.
For the charging, the BMW i4 is designed for a charging capacity of up to 150 kW, which can provide up to 80-percent of the maximum driving range in a speedy 35 minutes. That will equate to about 62 miles of range per six minutes if you’re charging at the 150 kW rate. That doesn’t seem like a long wait at all.
How’s It Look?
To be quite honest, the 2021 BMW i4 looks like a sleek vehicle of the future, at least from what we can tell of the pictures we’ve seen leaked and also officially released by BMW. The front is aggressive and really shows off that this isn’t your average sedan. Rather, this is quite clearly a sports car with an aerodynamic and minimalistic design that is sure to appeal to many consumers out there.
On the inside, there is a huge screen that stretches from behind the steering wheel, over to the right where you would typically find your instrument cluster. It is all connected, but there are really two different displays on one long screen. One screen is for your driver display and the other for your navigation, music, and other options. Rose gold trim is featured throughout the interior, along with white leather upholstery and wood accents.
All BMWs come with plenty of modern technology features, whether it is meant for safety, entertainment, or assisting the driver. It would be expected that the BMW i4 would come equipped with all of the latest features, including Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a great audio system, and lots of driver-assistance technology features.
What’s the Competition?
Tesla is the most obvious competitor for the BMW i4, specifically the Tesla Model 3, as the two vehicles would fall within a similar category. The BMW i8 is more of a competitor for the Tesla Model S, while the BMW i3 is just slightly different than Tesla’s current lineup. With Tesla’s meteoric rise up the automotive food chain, they’ve become the target that everyone is aiming for, including huge companies like BMW. Since the i3 was never really a true competitor for the Model 3, it is clear that the i4 is the actual competition. But will it measure up?
That remains to be seen, of course, since it hasn’t been released yet. Meanwhile, the Model 3 is extremely popular and will most likely continue to be, as it is simply one of the best electric vehicles ever produced. Still, it is fair to say that the BMW i4 is coming in with a lot of hype behind its impressive stats. With very quick acceleration, plenty of power under the hood, and an extremely fast charging rate, the i4 looks like it could provide Tesla with some actual competition. Supposedly, there may even be additional models with more power and increased range levels still in the works. We won’t be much more of this additional information for some while yet, but overall this looks to be a promising release for BMW.